Updated: May 29, 2020 4:51:15 pm
Amid looming threats of a “probable locust attack“, the Delhi government has issued an advisory with a list of preventive measures that should be taken to keep the swarms at bay.
While there is no immediate danger of the locusts heading towards the national capital, the administration announced a series of precautions to avoid any “devastating effect” on the agricultural crops, vegetation, plants and gardens among others.
“In order to prevent a probable attack of swarm of locusts, which are reportedly present in the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, all concerned authorities are hereby advised to take the following preventive measures,“ a circular issued by joint director of agriculture A P Saini read.
The measures include taking steps to ensure the locusts are not allowed to rest and organising awareness campaigns for the general public and farmers on the attack.
“As the swarm usually fly in the day time, the locust should not be allowed to rest at night,” the advisory read.
The circular also listed four chemicals — Melathion 50% EC, Melathion 25% WP, Chloropyriphos 20% EC and Chloropyriphos 50% EC — that must be diluted in water and used as pesticides and sprayed in the evening to control the swarm.
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In a statement, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare said on Wednesday, “As of today, there are active swarms of immature locust in Barmer, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Sikar, Jaipur districts in Rajasthan and Satna, Gwalior, Seedhi, Rajgarh, Baitul, Devas, Agar Malwa district of Madhya Pradesh.
The statement said that “since 11th April 2020, locust hoppers and from 30th April, 2020, the incursion of pink immature adults has been reported in bordering districts of Rajasthan and Punjab, which are being controlled.”
The Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has stepped up locust control operations in Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh, the Ministry said.
“At present 200 Locust Circle Offices (LCO) are conducting survey & control operations in close coordination with district administration and agriculture field machinery of the affected states… In Rajasthan 21 districts, in Madhya Pradesh 18 districts, in Punjab one district and in Gujarat 2 districts have undertaken locust control till now,” it said.
Speaking to the The Indian Express, LWO Deputy Director K L Gurjar said, “We are controlling the locust swarms on a daily basis but they cannot be controlled in one go because they are escaping. They are going forward.
However, Gurjar said, there is no possibility of the insects moving towards Delhi as of now, because the “wind current is different”.
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